- US, Georgian and Lithuanian nationals have been appointed to Ukraine’s Parliament after hurriedly receiving citizenship right before
- Even more shocking is the Ukrainian government's promise to grant citizenship to all foreigners who fought for pro-Kiev militias in the country’s civil war
This article originally appeared at Sputnik
Former nationals of the US, Lithuania, and Georgia were appointed to the positions of Minister of Finance, Economy, and Health, respectively.
All three individuals are representative of certain foreign interests that may not be immediately apparent, specifically concerning the IMF and NATO.
As for passing out passports to foreigners, this creates a disturbing precedent for the way future conflicts are fought.
Foreign Passports, Foreign Allegiance
The popular concern that foreign citizens would pursue foreign interests if placed into a nation’s government turns out to be true in the case of Ukraine. Of course, it must be said that the three individuals in focus are nominally ‘Ukrainians’ now, but only because of a special presidential authorization that immediately expedited their applications.
In effect, the appointees say a lot about the countries that they original hail from. Let’s take a look.
Natalia Yaresko, Finance Minister (US):
This former State Department employee used to be the first Chief of the Economic Section of the US Embassy in Ukraine and used to also have various other economic responsibilities within the Department. US influence in Ukraine has been tremendous since EuroMaidan and is heavily documented.
Aivaras Abromavicius, Economy Minister (Lithuania):
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite recently created an international scandal when she said that Russia was a “terrorist state”. This radical statement could be interpreted as a sign of her country’s extreme anti-Russian foreign policy, which also saw its government volunteer to host more NATO units amid deteriorating East-West relations.
Together with NATO-ally Poland, Lithuania wants to form a joint military brigade with Ukraine in the future that could de-facto integrate it as a shadow member of the alliance. As for Mr. Abromavicius personally, he is a partner in a multi-billion dollar asset management group.
Aleksandr Kvitashvili, Health Minister (Georgia):
The biography of this former Georgian Health Minister may appear innocuous, but it’s his home country’s interests that he represents which are ominous. Georgia had previously spoken about joining NATO together with Ukraine before the 2008 War and Yanukovich’s return to politics in 2010, but then the idea died down.
The new Georgian government, although more pragmatic in relations with Russia, has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to joining NATO in the future, showing that nothing has really changed, perhaps even the plot to enter the alliance together with Ukraine.
And that’s not all, since even more can be read between the lines of Yaresko and Abromavicius’ appointments.
Ukraine is due to go back to the IMF soon to receive the next portion of its $17 billion loan, and of course, the ‘former’ US and Lithuanian citizens will play a large role in how that is dealt out and under what terms.
Having a former State Department official on one hand and an international asset manager on the other could mean that the interests of the Ukrainian people may be compromised during these dealings, since the former may have a vastly different set of limits when it comes to imposed economic conditions and the latter may not value his new nation’s assets enough to not gamble critical ones for consignment.
These two ‘former’ foreigners might sell Ukraine out even worse than the domestic-born oligarchs of the past, and the Ukrainian people might not even know what hit them when it’s all over with.
From Foreign Fighter to Citizen
Lost amid the talk of foreigners heading Ukraine’s government has been the disturbing precedent of Poroshenko’s promise to grant citizenship to foreigners that supported the pro-government militias.
Such an extreme move, especially its acceptance by the West, means that any other pro-Western government across the world that is engaged in its own civil war could easily follow suit.
They could thus draw upon a multitude of desperate and impoverished recruits in other war-torn countries, or even worse, deadly and battle-hardened fighters who have already proved their ruthlessness in previous conflicts, having possibly even committed unpunished war and humanitarian crimes there (such as some armed groups in Africa are accused of, for example).
Some of these people may even gravitate on their own to future pro-Western governments in turmoil, hoping that their unrequested ‘services’ would be met with the reward of citizenship as was the case of Ukraine.
This would make those conflicts even more brutal and introduce a myriad of foreign elements to them, thereby internationalizing these wars and possibly turning them into larger geopolitical games.
War typically begets more war, and the way Poroshenko is handing out passports to foreign fighters, one would think he simply doesn’t understand the potential repercussions of his actions.